The average American works more than 260 days every year in exchange for five to ten paid vacation days.
That’s a lot of time!
So when you do finally get to plan your vacation, you want to make the most of every minute.
Sure, you could hit the theme parks like everyone else. But then half of your hard-earned vacation time would be spent waiting in lines and fighting through throngs of crowds.
Instead of going the typical travel routes, take your vacation planning to the next level. Use these pro secrets to prepare for your next trip!
1. Know Your Travel Preferences
If you can’t stand traffic, crowds, or loud noises, you probably shouldn’t vacation in the big city.
And if the mere thought of bugs grosses you out, you shouldn’t waste your vacation time in the woods.
Vacation isn’t the best time to step out of your comfort zone. It’s time to rest and enjoy yourself.
You know what you enjoy, so you should build your vacation around your preferences.
The same idea applies to family vacations. If you are planning a trip for multiple people, take everyone’s preferences into account. Make a compromise if someone is likely to be utterly miserable.
Research Your Options
There are literally millions of places to visit. Hidden gems exist in every corner of the world.
So before you buy your plane tickets and book a hotel room, consider all of your options.
Use the internet to find ideas. Ask friends for recommendations, too. They can lead you to lesser-known vacation possibilities that you may enjoy.
By vacationing off-the-radar, you’ll have the added bonus of avoiding tourist traps and reducing your vacation expenses. Out-of-the-way places are frequently cheaper and just as exciting than the well-known options.
Flying? Leave on a Good Travel Day
For decades, people have been vying for the best deals on airline tickets. There’s such a big demand for this knowledge that experts have conducted in-depth studies on how to find the cheapest plane tickets.
Overall, they all agree on a few ways to get the best rates:
- Cheaper, less crowded flights are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- You can often find good deals on Saturday flights because most people fly out on Fridays for weekend trips
- If you have to fly during the holidays, don’t book your flight on a popular travel date
- Buying your ticket 104 to 129 days prior is going to net you the best price
These tips aren’t set in stone and are subject to change. But, using them as a guide should help you narrow down your travel dates and point you to your best booking times.
Get a Passport
Prior to 2020, you only needed a passport if you were traveling outside the country.
But then Real ID happened.
Real ID was established in 2005 to enforce security standards across the country. This system requires every American citizen to possess a Real ID card or passport to fly or enter a federal facility.
This law goes into effect on October 1, 2020.
So, many people are opting for passports anyway. They’ll get you just about anywhere in or out of the country.
If you are only traveling inside the United States, you can get a passport card instead of a cumbersome book.
Plan Your Itinerary, But Leave Wiggle Room
Wherever you go, there’s a lot to see. But jamming your vacation with a full schedule is a guaranteed recipe for stress.
Popular tourist destinations like the Empire State Building in New York City can leave you standing in line for hours.
Heading to the beach gives you more of a flexible schedule, but if you go to a popular beach in peak season, parking might be a pain.
Sometimes, these are necessary evils. Just make sure to leave time for slotty vegas in your itinerary.
If you expect to bounce from one activity to the next without ever having to sit in traffic or wait in line, you’re in for a frustrating trip.
Also, leave room in your schedule to make some spontaneous decisions. No matter where you go, there will be places that aren’t in your brochure. Don’t let a tight schedule prevent you from enjoying your vacation to the fullest!
Planning ahead is the best way to ensure you have a good time on vacation.
Spontaneity is important. But you work hard for your off-time, and you deserve to enjoy it. So, it’s crucial to plan ahead of time.
Whether you’re headed out on a thrilling adventure or a relaxing week on the beach, keep these pro tips in mind. They’ll help you make the most of every minute!
Lindsey is the community manager who comes to Siesta Key with several years experience managing luxury communities throughout the DC metropolitan area. As a Montgomery County native, Lindsey feels as though Siesta Key is what Rockville has been missing. It is centrally located but proves that you can have plenty of space without losing style and sophistication.